Shankh is the Sanskrit name for the conch shell
The conch is sounded in Hindu temples early in the morning as an udgosh sound to announce the opening of the temple doors. In a similar way, this Mudra allows us to open the doors of our inner temple.
Due to its connection to the conch shell and, by conclusion, to sound, it is closely linked to Vishuddhi Chakra, which is the energy centre around the throat. As the fifth chakra governs communication, this Mudra is said to help you find your voice and to cure ailments of the throat.
When the thumb, which represents the fire element within our body, is encircled by the fingers of the opposing hand and the other thumb is joined with its opposing index finger, this increases the air element in the body. Shankh Mudra therefore reduces the Pitta effect, while increasing the Vata and Kapha in the body.
This Mudra is best used at the start of a meditation to clear and purify our energy. As such, it is best practiced in a comfortable seated position. To perform this gesture, the palms of the hands should be raised in front of the chest. Wrap all four fingers of the right hand around the left thumb. Bring the tips of the right thumb and left middle finger to touch lightly. The other fingers of the left hand can be held in line with the middle finger of the same hand. Keeping the hands as they are, place them in front of the sternum. Chant the sound of 'Om' three times and then listen to the echo within yourself before commencing your meditation practice.
Illustration © estudio mosa 2018